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A trip to the dentist can be a stressful experience for many people – but to some children on the autism spectrum, it can be beyond frightening. With more and more children being diagnosed as on the spectrum, it’s more important than ever for dentists to have strategies in place for dealing with autistic patients who are overwhelmed by the experience.
A recent report by New York Times reporter Catherine Saint Louis explored emerging insights and research on autism in the dental chair, offering a look at the challenges faced by both parents and dentists when it comes to treating young patients on the spectrum. Saint Louis' article compiled a collection of invaluable insights, resources, tips, research and strategies for dentists to make the dental experience a less traumatic one for patients overwhelmed by sensory overload or the change in routine and location.
Dentists will have to find what works best for their patients – and their practice – in order to provide care for this growing demographic desperately in need of good, reliable and available dental care. More information on autism awareness, advocacy and resources is available from autism advocacy organization Autism Speaks.